For most Alpinists, the countdown to first tracks starts somewhere around Labor Day. Tickers count the days until the lifts first start spinning, and every chilly morning or turned leaf means that winter is coming closer and closer. But Autumn holds her own alpine charms, and enjoying the fall foliage in the mountains is one of our favorites. To celebrate the arrival of cooler weather, Marketing Director and Vermont enthusiast Zari Sadri lays out one of her favorite road trips.
We’ll begin in Manchester, where the Land Rover Experience Driving Center takes guests out on a man-made course meant to put their vehicles (or yours) through its paces. Bring your own vehicle on an owner’s day, or choose from their fleet of Defenders, Discoveries, and Range Rovers for a full day experience. You’ll learn how to maximize the capability of the vehicle and refine your driving technique.
Unbuckle and head over to the Copper Grouse at the Taconic for a snack and drink by the fire, and a beautiful view of Mt. Equinox.
Twenty-nine minutes away, some of the best food in the state beckons from SoLo Farm & Table, a beautiful family-run restaurant in a historic farmhouse that’s worth the detour. A seasonal menu and well-curated wine and drinks selection add to the charm of this gem. Request a table next to one of the wood-burning fireplaces for maximum autumnal coziness.
In the morning, we’ll get an early start towards Barnard, VT. Follow scenic Rt. 100 past more general stores than you’ll care to count, and arrive to Twin Farms in time for lunch. This all-inclusive Relais & Chateaux property features beautifully appointed cottages and guest rooms set amid 300 acres of forestland. Enjoy decadent meals in the dining room or wine cellar, take to the trails or pond for some fishing, or relax by the fire in the pub or Japanese Furo. There’s truly no better place to escape and enjoy a bit of quiet.
If there’s a place to extend your stay, it’s in Barnard, so stay as long as you’d like before charting a course north for the Champlain Valley.
We’ll skip the highway and meander along back roads through Ripton, Bristol, Monkton and Charlotte, taking in the colors, and finally ending at Shelburne Farms. A former Vanderbilt country home, and National Historic Landmark built in the 1800’s on the shores of Lake Champlain, the farm covers 1,000 acres of active farmland, formal gardens, and is home to the Inn at Shelburne Farms. With great pains paid to restoration and historical relevance, walking into the Inn feels like taking a great big step back in time.
View the Adirondacks across the lake from the garden, or take a hike to an overlook featuring views of Mt. Mansfield and Camel’s Hump. Enjoy a cocktail crafted with farm botanicals in the library to the sounds of a live classical pianist before dinner in the Marble Dining Room.
Ready to take the plunge and procure a Range Rover Classic to bring home with you? Look no further than Congleton Service, a shop located in Colchester, VT best known for its expertise on the Range Rover Classic. While Defenders and Series do come through the shop, owner Taylor Congleton has earned a reputation for being the go-to expert on the Range Rover Classic. He’s spent years rebuilding these and his shop works on vehicles shipped to him from around the world for his quality service and refurbishment. He and his team are even offering direct replicas of original Land Rover parts that are no longer available with their proprietary mold system, making them the only resource for many of these hard-to-find parts.
Take your pick of their vehicles available for sale, bring in your own truck for refurbishment, or go down the rabbit hole with Taylor to source and build your dream Rover. An excellent drive with your newly rebuilt Range Rover Classic is down to the Charlotte ferry dock in the morning to catch the small car ferry that crosses Lake Champlain bound for the Adirondacks. The earliest bird gets the worm here, as the fog will be lifting from the lake in a way that can only be described as magical. Here’s where we leave you…The Adirondacks beckon.